Contact Us

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733 8th Street Southeast
Washington, DC, 20003
United States


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Adoption Process

Our adoption process is designed to place each of our dogs in the best home possible for him or her - and to ensure that you and your new dog are a great fit! This means that we use each step of the adoption process to place each of our dogs with the forever family that best matches their personality and activity level, and we are not first-come-first-served.

Each dog adopted from Rural Dog Rescue is spayed or neutered, up-to-date on all core shots (including DHPP and rabies), microchipped, and is current on heartworm and flea & tick preventatives.

How does it work?

Step 1:  Complete and submit an online adoption application. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at

Step 2:  You will conduct a phone interview with one of our volunteers, which typically take between 15-30 minutes and are a chance for us to learn more about what you are looking for in a dog. If applicable, our volunteer will also conduct a landlord reference (if you rent), a vet reference check (if you have owned a pet in the last five years), and a background check.

Step 3:  After the phone interview, you will conduct a home visit with one of our volunteers. This allows us to make sure your home is a safe place for our dogs to live, as well as that you are a good fit for the dog you have applied for. All members of the family should be present during the home visit.

Step 4: After the phone interview and home visit are complete, you will be pre-approved to adopt pending a match with one of our dogs. If you are pre-approved, the next step is to attend one of our adoption events and meet our adoptable dogs. Please keep in mind that many dogs have multiple applications, and that we use the above process to find the best possible home for each dog.

Step 5: Once you have chosen a dog and the adoption team has determined it is a good fit for you, you will finalize the adoption. This includes paying the $400 adoption fee, signing an adoption contract, reviewing the dog’s vet records, and taking an adoption photo. You may send adoption updates & Happy Tails at any time to!